If you think that just doing your mileage, dutifully following a training plan and plodding through long runs on hot and sweaty summer evenings have you prepared to race a marathon, you have much to learn young padawan.
Based off of personal experience, I suggest the following non-running related items for consideration if you are racing out of town.
- Bring your own alarm clock (or one that runs on batteries)
- Bring your own pillow (or pillows if you use two like me). Nothing worse than trying to sleep on a hotel bed and not being able to sleep on their super hard/soft pillows.
- If the hotel doesn’t have a refrigerator (or it does but it’s full of overpriced beer and juice which can’t be removed), bring yourself a cooler. A bag or two will keep it cool all weekend long.
- Earplugs are good if you happen to be staying in a hotel where there is a wedding party (the after party is where it is at, but you may not want to be there). Make sure you test your earplugs with your alarm…trust me. In fact, ask the hotel if there is a wedding party that weekend before you even make the reservation.
- If you are flying, I strongly suggest you carry on your race day shoes, and clothing, Garmin, and iPod. I mean, not that an airline has ever lost a checked bag. Plus, pretty much everything else can be bought at the expo.
- Your favorite stuffed animal. I mean, if you have one, not that I do…would a grown man still sleep with a stuffed animal…pleeezzzzzz. Please don’t judge.
- Tylenol and Advil.
And, just in case you don’t already do this, I can’t suggest strongly enough that you charge your Garmin two days before the marathon. And check it the day before. And some people can attest, things can go wrong the morning of—even if they manage to qualify for Boston.